So…the girl is 11 and is at that age where every day I feel like I have to prove I’m the adult. One morning, at 7:05 a.m., she came into my room and the following conversation ensued:
The Girl: Three ninths simplified is one third. In percent form that is 3.33%.
Me: You sure about that?
The Girl: Yes. 3.33% with a repeating 3. Any fraction divided by 9 is going to have a repeating 3.
(I’m wondering why we’re having this conversation when I’m trying to get a few extra zzzzs. I indulge her)
Me: No love. It’s 33%.
The Girl: No. The decimal form is 3.33 repeating. I said the decimal.
(I go back and read the conversation. I see percent. You see it too?)
Me: Okay. But still that’s not correct either. In decimal form, it’s .33 with the threes repeating. It’s 33 percent. The fraction is 33/100 also known as 33 hundredths. 33 hundredths in decimal form is point three three.
She continues to argue that it’s 3.33 repeating. Now that I realize I won’t get my extra 10 minutes of snoozing before she has to leave for the bus, I give her my full attention.
Me: Sweetie, that’s not right.
The Girl: IT IS!
Me: Who told you that’s right?
The Girl: Miss Little! (math teacher)
Me: Okay. Work it out on paper.
She goes to my desk and gets a pad and paper. There’s silence for a few seconds then she attempts to storm out of my room.
Me: Wait. Where you going?
The Girl: I have to get ready for school.
Me: Well, did you figure out what it was?
The Girl: Yes. (She turns to walk out of the room.)
Me: Wait! What’s the answer?
The Girl: (in a barely audible voice) It’s the same thing.
Me: The same as what? What’s the answer?
The Girl: Point. Three. Three. Repeating.
I sense a bit of an attitude and I sit up in the bed.
Me: That’s not the same thing. Would you rather me give you $3.33 or $0.33?
The Girl: (from the living room) Three dollars and thirty three cents. It’s time for me to go!
I have absolutely no idea why she feels like she has to be right all the time. I guess that’s what happens when you’re the intellectually gifted offspring of an intellectually gifted adult. It’s mornings like this with her random drops of knowledge that I wonder if I did this to my mom. I don’t remember being nearly as vocal as she is. I certainly never challenged my mom for fear of the belt. One thing I love about her though is that she will stand her ground when she thinks she’s right. I really wish though, she was better at losing when she’s been PROVEN wrong. Ah well…That’s my girl….
So, the next time you’re challenged with percents and decimals, just remember, I might be lurking ready to give you a math lesson.
Until next time,